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Richard Orton

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in Milwaukee, WI

Gass Turek LLC
241 N. Broadway, Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 414-223-3300
Fax: 414-224-6116
Selected to Rising Stars: 2017 - 2022
Licensed in Wisconsin Since: 2012
Practice Areas: Civil Litigation: Defense, Personal Injury - Products: Defense, Personal Injury - General: Defense, Business Litigation, Construction Litigation: Business, General Litigation
Attorney Profile

Rich is the managing partner at Gass Turek LLC, and represents clients throughout Wisconsin and the U.S.  Rich’s practice focuses on products liability, general liability, professional liability, and commercial, construction and insurance litigation and appeals. These matters typically involve a myriad of damages related to personal injuries, property damages, and other commercial or business losses. 

Mr. Orton provides his quality legal services to both local and multinational businesses. He is experienced in defending a wide range of industries – automotive, heavy equipment, agribusiness, medical devices, trucking and transportation. He also has experience advising companies about their product safety, claims management and risk assessment issues.

Recognized for his remarkable litigation skills and legal acumen, Mr. Orton is a member of the highly-selective Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and Litigation Counsel of America (LCA).  For his professional accomplishments he has been listed among the Up and Coming Lawyers by the Wisconsin Law Journal, is a fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, and was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for products liability defense and construction litigation (2022).

Rich is also a member of:

  • The State Bar of Wisconsin
  • The Milwaukee Bar Association
  • The Illinois State Bar Association
  • The Defense Research Institute
  • The Wisconsin Defense Counsel
  • The Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association (Board of Directors since 2019)

Earning his Juris Doctor in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mr. Orton obtained his license to practice in Wisconsin and Illinois the same year. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science cum laude from Marquette University in 2007, during which time he spent two terms studying abroad as a full time student at Lady Margaret Hall of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. He is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin and the Western District of Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in courts across the U.S. from New York to California.

In addition to his work as a trial attorney, Mr. Orton has served on the board of directors of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company since 2017, and has been the board's vice chairman since 2019.

Mr. Orton presents lectures and speaks on topics related to complex claims and navigating it through its entire legal lifespan, starting from the investigation and evidence discovery phase till the negotiation, trial and appeals. He has also won favorable verdicts in matters that include fire and explosion accidents, severe injuries and substantial property damages.

Practice Areas
  • 20%Civil Litigation: Defense
  • 30%Personal Injury - Products: Defense
  • 20%Personal Injury - General: Defense
  • 10%Business Litigation
  • 10%Construction Litigation: Business
  • 10%General Litigation
Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Defects, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Animal Bites, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Dram Shop Laws, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Toxic Mold, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Defense, Construction Defects, Litigation

Selections

6 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2017 - 2022

About Richard Orton

First Admitted: 2012, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage: https://www.gassturek.com/our-lawyers/richard-orton/

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Board of the Brady Street Area Association, Volunteer, 2017-2021

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Presenter, “Discovery in Products Liability Cases,” annual equipment industry product liability seminar, August 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “Make It Your Exhibit A, Not Theirs: Documentation Strategies for Success at Trial,” DRI Product Liability Conference, New Orleans, February 2020
  • Presenter, “Anatomy of a Products Liability Claim,” annual equipment industry product liability seminar, May 2019
  • Presenter, “Pretrial Techniques”, State Bar of Wisconsin, September 20, 2018 (covering motions to compel discovery, summary judgment and Daubert challenges)
  • Presenter, Annual Wisconsin Legal Update, annually, 2015-2019 (multiple locations / clients)
  • Presenter, “Writing it Right: Avoiding Litigation Risks in Technical Publication Drafting,” 2018 (multiple locations and clients)
  • Presenter, “Dig Deep and Extract the Truth: How to use the Latest Digital Forensic Technology to Win Your Cases,” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 21, 2018
  • Co-Organizer, “Common Evidentiary Issues and Pitfalls,” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 15, 2017
  • Moderator, “From the Bench: Practical Tips for Litigants”, State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 16, 2016
  • Presenter, Annual Wisconsin Legal Update, annually, 2015-2019 (multiple locations/clients)
  • Moderator and co-organizer, “From the Bench: Practical Tips for Litigants”, State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 16, 2016
  • Co-Organizer, “Common Evidentiary Issues and Pitfalls,” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 15, 2017
  • Presenter, “Dig Deep and Extract the Truth: How to use the Latest Digital Forensic Technology to Win Your Cases,” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June 21, 2018
  • Presenter, “Writing it Right: Avoiding Litigation Risks in Technical Publication Drafting,” 2018 (multiple locations and clients)
  • Presenter, “Pretrial Techniques”, State Bar of Wisconsin, September 20, 2018 (covering motions to compel discovery, summary judgment and Daubert challenges)
  • Presenter, “Anatomy of a Products Liability Claim,” annual equipment industry product liability seminar, May 2019
  • Author, 2019 supplement to Requests for Admissions chapter in Wisconsin Discovery Law and Practice, State Bar of Wisconsin Pinnacle books, 5th Ed.
  • Presenter, “Recent Developments in the Evolution of the Economic Loss Doctrine,” Wisconsin Defense Counsel Annual Conference, August 2020

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Litigation Counsel of America (LCA)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, 2012
  • Board of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Young Lawyers Division, 2014-2018
  • Board of Directors of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, Vice Chairman, 2019
  • Board of Directors of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, Member, 2017
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • State of Illinois
  • State of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Defense Counsel (WDC)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2019-Present
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • Thomas E. Fairchild Inn, American Inns of Court, Associate Member, 2013-2016
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, YLD Board, 2014-2018

Honors/Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Products Liability Defense and Construction Litigation, 2022
  • Ruby R. Vale National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition, Best Brief Award, University of Wisconsin
  • Up and Coming Lawyer Award, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2016
  • Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation (2017 Inductee)
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2017-2021

Educational Background

  • Marquette University, B.A. cum laude, 2007
  • University of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall, 2006

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Defense verdict in Sonoma County, CA on behalf of manufacturer of construction equipment wherein plaintiff lost right arm and leg after tipping over a rough terrain forklift (a/k/a telehandler).  Plaintiff asked the jury to award $26 Million as a result of the injuries.  After deliberating three days, the jury returned a verdict of no negligence and no product defect., 2017
  • Verrazono v. Gehl Co., 50 Cal. App. 5th 636, 263 Cal. Rptr. 3d 663 (2020)
  • Secura v. Super Products LLC, No. 2018AP1600, 2019 WL 3432520 (Wis. App. July 31, 2019)
  • Obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of a contractor in a fire case involving allegations of an improperly installed fireplace and chimney system in a home, after a 4 day jury trial in Wisconsin Circuit Court.  , 2018
  • Won a motion to dismiss with prejudice as local counsel on behalf of a major U.S. auto manufacturer in a purported product liability class action against it. The class action complaint raised a variety of claims based on an alleged defect in a certain generation of truck engine, 2021

Industry Groups

  • Agribusiness
  • Agriculture
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Construction Equipment
  • Heavy Equipment
  • Industrial And Consumer Products
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Recreational Equipment
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Office Location for Richard Orton

241 N. Broadway
Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-223-3300

Fax: 414-224-6116

Last Updated: 6/9/2022

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